It began with a simple bean salad, enough to supplement a few lunches during the week. A can of mixed beans, some chopped up red and green peppers, a bit of grated carrot, some slivers of red onion, all tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of white vinegar, and a handful of fresh herbs (thyme, basil, and Italian parsley). Oh, and a sprinkle of salt and a generous scratching of black pepper.
Next up: chick pea curry, to serve as a side dish on Monday night (or Tuesday, depending…) as well as a lunch or two during the week. It’s my basic recipe — supposedly Thai, but it uses Indian curry powder in coconut milk with tomatoes, potatoes, some aromatics, and a lot of basil. Mmmmmm, yummy!
Then it was a chicken tikka masala — main course for Monday (or Tuesday). This was no great feat since I used ready-made sauce from a jar. Still, I had to skin and bone the chicken breasts. I also added a couple of roughly-cut onions. I just have a thing about chicken tikka masala — it’s gotta have onions.
While the chick pea curry and tikka masala were bubbling I set about making dinner — a Sunday roast. Specifically, a small pork loin roast.
I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I stuck with the classic approach, I scored the fat on top and rubbed in some fresh thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. I arranged some small onions around the rack, and plunked down the roast. What the heck, I also peeled an orange (a mineola) and arranged the chunks on the rack. Then I got the bright idea to arrange some finely chopped onion bits, garlic, and celery at the bottom of the pan, along with some water, in anticipation of a sauce.
That went in the oven with some chunked-up, oiled, and herbed potatoes.
Next, a salad. Lettuce, arugula, red onions, and endive. A vinaigrette of olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, pepper, and basil. Shake shake shake!
Time for the side veg. Chunks of carrots cooked in orange juice until reduced to a glaze, and topped with a bit of cilantro.
The roast is ready. Tent it in foil for a few minutes while I add some stock and white wine to the pan drippings. Reduce, strain out the lumpy bits, reduce again with a very light sprinkle of flour to thicken it. (I would have used demi-glace instead of the stock and flour, but I didn’t have any on hand.)
Bingo. Three-and-a-half hours of intense kitchenery, and we have a great dinner, plus another dinner ready-to-go, and lunches for the week.